Section 172 Requirement
Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 allows any authorized police officer to require a relevant person to identify the driver of a particular vehicle at a specified place, date and time. Failure to comply is an offence that carries discretionary disqualification and obligatory endorsement of 6 penalty points.
This provision is often relied upon by police to establish the identification of a driver alleged to be guilty of a road traffic offence. Typical examples include GATSO camera prosecutions, in which the camera only captures the vehicle registration. The police need evidence of the identity of the driver and so a notice of intended prosecution (NIP) will be sent to the registered keeper with a 172 requirement therein. These documents are usually robustly drafted and require an experienced eye to spot any potential defects. If you have received such a document and are unsure of your legal obligations please contact us immediately for advice.
As well as within NIPs the section 172 requirement is often used in the field of duty by police constables. There are strict procedures that need to be followed by police when making such a request and we have found that in practice many officers do not follow the procedure accurately. Any deviation can result in the response to a request being inadmissible in court and prosecutions can fail as a result. If you have had a request made under this section that has led to a prosecution our experienced solicitors can provide crucial advice and representation.